Cork City to have major new hospital by 2024

The Irish Examiner understands that, for a site or premises to be considered, it has to have the capacity to expand by up to 50% and be capable of being operational by 2024.
Cork City to have major new hospital by 2024

Westfield Office Quarter in Ballincollig could be considered as a potential option for the location of a new elective hospital in Cork. File picture.

Cork City is set to have a major new hospital up and running by 2024 under plans being progressed by Sláintecare, as part of an ambitious health service reform programme.

Commercial property consultants Quinn Agnew completed city-wide trawls of potential sites and premises in Cork, Dublin, and Galway, before Christmas on behalf of Sláintecare’s elective hospitals oversight group.

The planned Cork hospital, a walk-in facility measuring circa 200,000 sq ft and dedicated to elective (scheduled) care, will be bigger than the recent, substantial extension (160,000 sq ft) to the Bon Secours Hospital on Western Road, which cost €77m.

The Irish Examiner understands that, for a site or premises to be considered, it has to have the capacity to expand by up to 50% and be capable of being operational by 2024.

While all parts of the city were included in the trawl, Sláintecare strategy is to locate the new elective hospitals near existing major hospitals “where volumes are sufficient to merit them” and also to allow clinicians work across elective and general hospitals.

This would suggest the west side of Cork City is the more likely option, with potential to develop at the Cork Science and Innovation Park in Curraheen, at the Cork City FC grounds, also in Curraheen, or at the six-acre Westfield Office Quarter owned by the O’Flynn Group and located in Ballincollig.

In response to queries from the Irish Examiner, the Department of Health said that a site option appraisal in Cork, Dublin, and Galway was carried out “to explore indicative sites and was not a site selection process”.

It said “the inclusion of indicative sites is one of a number of elements that makes up the Preliminary Business Case”.

Healthcare players in Cork have been lobbying for years for a new hospital in the city. 

In 2019, a project board was set up to drive the development of a new elective hospital that could ultimately replace the Mercy University Hospital and South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH). At the time, the board’s chair, Professor Geraldine McCarthy said the new hospital could not be more than half an hour away from CUH.

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